30 September 2004 | Ddey65
A good movie plagued by "Remake Fever."
Steve Martin, the former "wild and crazy guy," stars in yet another remake of a classic comedy. This was exactly why the movie didn't do as well in the theaters, and that's a shame. There are movies that should not be remade, and yet are remade anyway. You would think that an old family movie which inspired "The Brady Bunch" nearly 20 years later would be one of them. Surprisingly this is a superior remake, unlike the 1999 version of "The Out-of-Towners."
Bonnie Hunt; No matter how good she is in anything, everything she touches turns to rust. Would somebody please give me a reason why? The whole movie seems to revolve around the success of Tom & Kate Baker(Martin and Hunt), as Kate finishes writing her book about that huge family of theirs and Tom is offered a job to coach football at his alma mater, the latter of which means they need to move out. Just as the original did, the remake works because of the antics of the kids. And here they are:
Piper Perabo, as the oldest daughter Nora, who doesn't have to suffer from the overcrowding of her family, but does have to suffer with Hank a vain actor boyfriend, played by Ashton Kutcher.
Hilary Duff tries to break her typecasting as "Lizzie McGuire," but it's going to be quite difficult. Still it should be noted that Lorraine is far more vain than Lizzie, although not as bitchy as Ashlie Brillault's Kate.
Tom Welling as the oldest son Charlie hates his father as much as he hates being in a big family, and being moved to a new school where all the snot-nosed kids insult and harass him & Lorraine make things much worse.
Forrest Landis is Mark(aka "FedEx"), the nerdy outcast of the family who when the family moves is left to sleep in his own room...and it's a COOL room. I was happy when I got my own bedroom at five years old, but with a secret escape and/or disposal hatch like that, who wouldn't be jealous?
Alyson Stoner. I MUST repeat that name --- ALYSON STONER! If you liked her in Missy Elliot's music video's, you'll lover her as Sarah Baker. Whether it's plotting against babysitters, dipping Hank's underwear in meat or defending her siblings from bullies, this girl is the coolest of the 12 Baker kids. Not even Mara Wilson compares to this girl, and she was one hell of a child actress.
An unfortunately deleted scene featuring Eileen Brennan as an ailing nanny who boasts "12 years with the FBI." It was actually good enough that they should've left it in. And how about the closing theme "What Christmas Should Be," by Miss Duff? A decent message, even if totally impossible.
All in all, it's still worth seeing despite the family sappiness and lack of an original storyline. Don't be ashamed to give it a try.